Website of the Church

I gratefully present you the new website for our church:

Link to the website of Shonandai Baptist Church, Kanagawa, Japan

We have thought it nowadays more and more important to improve a website for our church: We have had a simple page only with the address and the timetable, yet we have seen “considerable” amount of people who have visited us on the basis of it.

In the case of our church in Japan, where very few people think about God, we have two or three new visitors in a Year, therefore that “two or three” are quite “considerable.” : a certain value created from almost zero.

And they might need an urgent rescue of their hearts. It’s my own experience. If I had not found the telephone number of the church and asked them if I could go, and been welcome…I can’t imagine how my life were now.

As it is not a commercial website to acquire customers, we don’t write like “come to our church, you’ll have a lot of fun!” but we’d like to show how we are in the church, and how and when one can see us if he would like to. The address and the time table are still the most important information. In addition, we show a detailed navigation of the way to the church. For example:


Which to go after you came through the gate of the station.

And the verses from the Bible. we have quoted as many of them as possible overall the webpages. Possibly only by meeting with the words of God here, one could be saved!
And it rescued indeed us from being tired of page building routine. While we are questing the words from Bible, our hearts were recharged.

It has yet many to fix, but we shall not overcook it in our local HDD.
Whereas we are much comforted by finishing upload, we are faced with the next trial: release is one thing, update is another.

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Enlightement

The chapter 4 of the Gospel of John is one of the parts that I like best in the Bible.

There was a man who had been born blind. He sat on the street and lived on begging. What else could he do at that time? He would not get a job with his difficulty. What was worse is that people attributed any physical difficulties of a man to his or his parents’ sins. How could we live positively, if we were condemned that we had more sins than others in nature?

Then Jesus came and cured his eyes. But He did a more important thing: He declared the man’s blindness had nothing to do with his sins.
I’m astonished by such clear distinction between physical and mental matters, which was made more than 2000 years ago. Even now we tend to tell “Headache? Oh no, you only don’t want to go to school!”
And the blind man was taught by Jesus that he was not at all inferior to others. I think his vision upon his life must have been turned 180 degrees.

For above reasons, his way to live has been changed straight upwards.
He made in public it was he that used to sit and beg, and not now anymore.
When he was sent to Pharisees, he started a debate against them.

I imagine he must have appeared quite miserable when he stood in front of the authorities, because only some days ago he had no way to live but begging. It must have been very cool to see such poor fellow was talking out of eminent wealthy men.

The Gospel of John highlights such people who met with Jesus and changed by Him, which I think is one of its feature.

The Best Selection

The following picture is not for malicious man and woman making an evil plot.

The woman who is gorgeously dressed is the Queen Esther in the Bible, a Hebrew woman married to the king who had dominated her homeland. The man is Mordecai, also Hebrew, a relative and the stepfather of Esther, and assigned to a high position among the servants of the King.

Now they were in a serious crisis. the king had permitted his people to kill all the Hebrews living in his domain. It was only Esther that could ask him a favor for their people.

Esther was at first reluctant to go ask her husband, because she knew the king did not want her to come, unless he himself invite her. It was very likely she would be killed when she made him angry.

Then, as in this picture, Mordecai told to her: “Do not think you would be safe if our people were killed!”

Soon she decided to take a risk to win her husband’s favor.

Her selection was quite reasonable. If she did nothing, there was no way for her to survive. At this time she had not her own origin in public, but how she could keep her secret if she deceived her stepfather? Indeed she knew her limitation. And she selected the finite, though very small, possibility to be saved, with assistance of her people.

At the first glance her intelligence might seem of her own. But could she be so reasonable as such, at the very point of her crisis, if she had always care only of herself?

At the first glance man could manage his life only his own logic ability. But when he were faced with a big crisis, he would lose his usual logic nor ability and rush into a stupid attempt near at hand.

On the other hand, God could give us the reason for the best selection. The revolutionary lessons of Jesus could turn the crisis to a chance. So I think the best way for us is always to ask for those. It is possibly in other words “to seek the righteousness of God”

In the Desert

More about the story of Ruth.
The widow Naomi returned to her hometown with her beautiful daughter-in-law Ruth, but without any possession.

Ruth went to find a crop field, where she could pick up ears of grains left after the harvest.

I appreciate her brave decision, for Naomi’s home was a complete foreign place for her (Ruth was a Moabite and had been married to the Hebrew family in her own land).

In the Bible, God blessed those who went out to a new place, where in most cases was a desert.
The new place where Ruth stood was not an uninhabited sandy plane but a cultivated field. Yet no one there was at her side, nor was any hervest of her property.

Even in our modern life we often feel like left alone in the desert. But a desert is at the same time a new place or a promised place. Not only in so big a case as a new school, new resident or a big business project, but every single experience which makes us uncomfortable could be thought of a new place, beyond every tiny horizon of which we could meet with the blessing.

Mother-in-law

We are learning now the Book of Ruth in the Bible.
The name of the protagonist is often adopted in Japanese Christian parents to name their daughters, for example “路津子(rutsuko).”

On the other hand, it’s remarkable the name of her mother-in-law, Naomi, is much more famous here, because the word nao means in Japanese “right” or “nothing disturbing”, and mi “beauty.” It is widely thought as mere a coincidence, but who knows the truth?

Ruth was a young woman who were finally to become the ancestress of King David, through difficulties.

Ruth had been married with the son of a woman named Naomi, but he died. Naomi had lost another son, leaving his wife named Orpah.

In the beginning of Ruth’s story, there were Naomi, being left without her husband nor sons and only with her two young daughters-in-law.
Then Naomi talked them to go back to their homelands, apart from her.

Orpha finally accepted her suggestion and leave her, whereas Ruth insisted to stay with her.

Do you think Ruth was more faithful to her mother-in-law than Orpha? I don’t think so particularly. Each of the two young women had found what she should do and just did it.

By the way, I like Naomi, for she talked to her daughters quite logically. She tried to persuade them as follows.

(1)There was no more reason for them to keep their roles as her sons’ wives, because they were dead.
(2)Naomi would have no more son to give them, because it was the will of God almighty to leave her without children.
(3)Even if she had ones in the future, it would take too long time until they grow enough to marry with them.

Quite reasonable and evidenced.
But it was much more interesting, because Ruth neglected all these reasons and just insisted she wanted to stay.
The result was that Naomi accepted Ruth’s strong will.

The aged woman of logic and the young one beyond logic, they took hand in hand and began a new life. The story would not end without something special.